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post #1 of 12 Old 09-05-2007 Thread Starter
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Documented Boat Name and Hailing port

My boat is a USCG Documented boat. I need to repaint the name and hailing port on the transom. The lettering for the past many years has been 3 inches.

My question. What is the USCG required size of lettering. I've read the USCG faq sheet on this .... It seems clear that 4 inches is the requirment .......though somehow, I'm still wondering......

I can't find commercial lettering 4 inches tall. (I'll probably paint it on anyway but, it does seem strange that WM or other places wouldn't have 4 inch letters if that is the required size.

I am not a commercial vessel. Does this 4 inch letter requirement only apply to the previous sentence specifying commercial vessels.... or is the 4 inch requirement to be applied to the whole paragraph....all documented vessels?

Oh, did I mention, my transom is pretty small. It would be very difficult to get name, hailing port and state on the the transom in 4 inch letters and the names aren't very long!. I can't say I've ever seen the hailing port marked anywhere but on the transom of sailboats. And, what about double ended sailboats, what do they do? Here, read this excerpt from their faq page.... maybe I'm just having a bad day.
HOW DO I MARK MY VESSEL?

The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded of the abbreviation "NO." must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. The vessel name of a commercial vessel must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-05-2007
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Tree,
I believe 4" is the required size. You do not need to include the state, just the boat name and city. I have a bouble ender and the name and hailing port are painted on both sides of the stern. I'm sure someone else will respond with the correct answer on letter size.
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-05-2007
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Tree,
I just realized I gave you bad information. You do need the state. In my case it is painted on as "Philadelphia, Pa".
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-05-2007
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The Documentation Number

This has to be done, but isn't on many documented boats. The way I did it is I had a copper plate made with the No. ####### on it, and then epoxied and bolted the plate to the interior of my boat. According to the VSC I had done last week, it's fine.

The name and hailing port

From everything I've seen, non-commercial vessels can have the name of the boat on the port and starboard side of the boat, and the hailing port on the stern. That is how many sailboats I've seen are marked. The name of my boat is in letters over 10" tall. The home port, which is fairly long, is in letters as tall as possible, but not quite 4" high.

If you're looking for regular lettering, rather than custom lettering, you can find 4" numbers and letters at Home Depot or most home improvement stores, for use on mailboxes and the such. They're adhesive vinyl, and should work on a boat just fine.

BTW, Donna Lange's boat, Inspired Insanity, which is homeported in the US Virgin Islands has the name across the stern, and if seen from the side, it says "Inspired Virgin" and "Insanity Islands" respectively.

BTW, most sign companies in your local area can make up a set of vinyl letters for your boat name and homeport in various colors and fonts. Well worth checking out.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 09-05-2007 at 07:44 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-05-2007
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Name of vessel

Check this out. Its from the coastgaurd. You only need the name and port on the stern. Unless you are commercial.
WHAT ARE THE VESSEL NAME AND HAILING PORT MARKING REQUIREMENTS?
Documented vessels do not display their official numbers on the outside of the hull, but are identified by the name and hailing port. The application for documentation must include a name for the vessel composed of letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals and may not exceed 33 characters. The name may not be identical, actually or phonetically, to any word or words used to solicit assistance at sea; may not contain or be phonetically identical to obscene, indecent, or profane language, or to racial or ethnic epithets. Once established, a vessel's name may not be changed without application, fees, and the consent of the Director, National Vessel Documentation Center. There is no rule against duplication of names for documented vessels, so hailing ports are helpful in identifying vessels.
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HOW DO I MARK MY VESSEL?
The official number assigned to documented vessels, preceded of the abbreviation "NO." must be marked in block-type Arabic numerals at least three inches high on some clearly visible interior structural part of the hull. The number must be permanently affixed so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious and cause some scarring or damage to the surrounding hull area.

The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull. The vessel name of a commercial vessel must also be marked on the port and starboard bow and the vessel name and the hailing port must also be marked on the stern. All markings may be made by any means and materials that result in durable markings and must be at least four inches in height, made in clearly legible letters of the Latin alphabet or Arabic or Roman numerals. The "hailing port" must include both a place and a State, Territory, or possession of in the United States. The state may be abbreviated.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-05-2007
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tree...you can design your own in any type style and size to fit any space. Design one line at a time.
http://www.boatus.com/boatgraphics/
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-05-2007
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Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
tree...you can design your own in any type style and size to fit any space. Design one line at a time.
When I put letters on mine boat I used motorsportsgraphics com They were cheaper (several boat packages) and (at the time) had more verity in fonts
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WHR....wouldn't surprise me....BUS/Westmarine is rarely the cheapest on anything! Thanks for the link...only 8 more posts till you can do a real one. Welcome aboard!
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Sign companies can also do boat lettering... and have a lot of font choices as well as additional graphics.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-07-2011
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Tree- You have two different things confused. The number that the Coast Guard gives you when documenting a vessel is the documentation number. That number has to be IN the boat with the NO. before it. Mine is painted in the lazarette. The only thing you have to do is put on the outside of the vessel is the name and hailing port. According to my local Coast Guard, they said 4" is the standard, but as long as it can be read from 100 yds, they're okay with it a little smaller. Take that as you may. It's only one Coastie's opinion.

According to the official Coast Guard website it says "The name and hailing port of a recreational vessel must be marked together on some clearly visible exterior part of the hull." To me, I read that as not having to be on the stern. Here is the link to where I got it. Hope it helps.
USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, FAQ Page

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Last edited by headcaseracer; 06-07-2011 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Correcting information.
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